Tuesday, December 01, 2009

An Encounter with a Beautiful Thing:Rosanjin Kitaoji

I went to visit the Rosanjin Kitaoji exhibition(held in Kahitsukan/Kyoto Museum of Contemporary Art)the other day.

My first encounter with the works of Rosanjin Kitaoji was at a fancy, traditional Japanese restaurant "Hyo-tei" in Kyoto that I was taken. The thinking of Hyo-tei, which got three stars in Michelin, is that vessels are clothing for the food. This thought accords with the thought of Rosanjin Kitaoji. At that time, I synchronized with the sense of beauty of Rosanjin.

Through this exhibition, I felt his spirit intensely that the world of Rosanjin Kitaoji was divided into the following seven categories: pottery, calligraphy, engraving, tea, flowers, food and the seasons.

On pottery: Pottery work is "a succession of quick and felicitous" decisions and movements.
On calligraphy: Calligraphy is "best when skill is shown in what appears to be unskillful."
On engraving: Go "where your fancy takes you."
On tea: Tea is "a university of aesthetic endeavors."
On flowers: Flower arrangement is the art of "painting with flowers."
On food: "Vessels are clothing for the food."
On the seasons: "Just praise nature and its beauty."

Looking at these seven categories, I could understand that Rosanjin Kitaoji was an artist, art director, and producer who unified all genres and constantly departed from the existing paradigm.
In addition, through this exhibition, I strongly feel the power of the works and words that Rosanjin left.

Rosanjin Kitaoji will continue asking us "what is beauty?"
I met a real giant of beauty, Rosanjin Kitaoji as a personification of beauty of harmony, a critic of all that we have lost and destroyed, and a leader of regeneration and rebuilding.

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